14th September 2011 Essay Example

  • Category:
  • Document type:
  • Level:
  • Page:
  • Words:

Topic: Social Discipline Model

Lecturer’s name

14th September 2011


The social discipline theory by Rudolf Dreikurs is built on the premise that the behaviour of children is driven by the mistaken assumption that they can gain status and recognition by behaving in a certain way (Dreikurs, 1968, p. 36). In this regard, the theorists highlighted a number of behaviour motivating goals in the life of students as follows;

Gaining attention

According to Dreikurs (1968, p.37) getting attention is the first motivation that drives students to behave in a certain way. This is particularly the case with students who strive to be recognized and feel the sense of belonging in the classroom setting.

Control and power

Dreikurs (1968, p. 40) held that students try to be bossy when they feel inferior. Such students can be identified easily because they repeat inappropriate behaviours such as beating and biting other students in order to feel recognized. The child will escalate his/her inappropriate behaviour when asked to stop in order to show that he can also challenge the teacher or any other adult such as the parent.

Dreikurs (1968, p.42) noted that students who feel that they have been treated unfairly use revenge as one way of retaliating against the teacher in order to get recognized. Among the behaviours of such students include hurting other students psychologically and physically through abuses and fighting other children.

Helplessness and inadequacy

This behaviour motivating goal results from the failure of the child to gain recognition using all other means such as revenge, control and power as well as gaining attention (Shulman, 2004).

Code of conduct (Class room rules)

  1. Every student should complete his/her class work on time. Failure to complete class work on time would lead to staying out of class for a whole lesson time.

  2. Every student should wait to be assigned homework before going home. Failure to wait for homework will also lead to staying out of class for a whole lesson

  3. All students should arrive in class in time. Failure to arrive in class on time will lead to staying back in school for a few minutes after other children have gone home.

  4. No student should call out on the teacher’s name loudly in class. If you want to communicate to the teacher you should go to where the teacher is. If you call the teacher’s name loudly the teacher will not listen to what you want to tell him/her.

  5. No student should ask irrelevant questions which are not related to the subject we are learning. If you ask irrelevant questions you will not be given a chance to ask any more questions

  6. Every student should stop any inappropriate or bad behaviour when asked by the teacher or any other adult to stop such behaviours. Failure to listen to the teacher or any other adult will make you a disobedient child.

  7. No student should abuse others by calling them negative names. The student who calls other students negative or abusive names will be separated from other student for a whole lesson.

  8. No student should physically abuse other students by beating or biting them. The student found to beat other students will seat alone in classroom and will not integrate with others.

  9. Every student should participate in class by asking questions and answering questions asked by the teacher. Failure to ask questions will make others perform better than you because they will understand the context effectively.

  10. Every student should participate in extra-curricular activities during physical education lessons. Failure to participate during PE lessons will lead to the student being denied a chance to go for educational trips.

  11. No student should damage any material brought by the teacher in class. Damaging the materials will lead to the student being denied a chance to use the materials until the teacher gives permission.

  12. No student should write on the classroom walls either with a piece of chalk or a pen. A student found writing on classroom walls will be forced to wash the entire wall.

The above code of conduct will be implemented through a number of strategies. First, executing instant punishment when the student breaks the regulation or rules. Second, rewarding those students that observe all the rules stated above. Third, ensuring that all teachers uphold the rules and apply them when the students break any one of the rules. Fourth, enable the students to know that rules guide behaviour by enhancing their understanding. This will be done by explaining to the students the meaning of each of the rules.

Rationale for the code

The above code is based on Dreikurs (1968) theory that children’s behaviour is driven or motivated by the assumption children have on ways that can gain status and find recognition among others. It is also based on the premise that children behave in certain ways in order to feel a sense of belonging. For example, the first, second and the third rules of the code of conduct are built on the attention getting behaviour motivation highlighted by Dreikurs’s theory of social discipline.

This is because a student may decide not to complete his work on time or fail to arrive in class on time or fail to wait for the homework to be assigned to him/her in anticipation that this behaviour will make the teacher angry. By making the teacher angry the student manages to exert his presence and thus gains status as a bad boy which the desired recognition by the student.

Additionally, the fourth and the fifth rules of the code of conduct are based on the control and power motivational behaviour exhibited by a child or a student in classroom when the student feels inferior (Wolfgang, 2001). The child/student assumes that by asking irrelevant questions and giving wrong answers to the questions asked will make other students laugh and thus exert control over other students and the teacher. Similarly, the child may also assume that by calling loudly on the teacher and other students he/she will manage to distract other students and the teacher and thus gain the recognition he desires in the process.

The sixth, the seventh and the eighth rules of the code of conduct are based on the premise that a student may decide to retaliate in order to get attention from the teacher and other students (Wolfgang & Glickman, 1986). This is particularly the case when the student is treated unfairly by the teacher or by other students in class. In this regard, the student may assume that abusing other students by calling other students negative names or physically abusing other students or biting other children will serve as the revenge for being treated unfairly.

Hence, these rules serve the purpose of warning such children in advance that such behaviour is unwarranted and unacceptable in the classroom setting. The punishment that goes with it also serve as a stern warning that engaging in such behaviour may lead to severe consequences (Richard, 2005).

The ninth, tenth, eleventh and the twelfth rules of the code are based on the principle of inadequacy and helplessness highlighted by Dreikurs (1968) theory of social discipline. According to the author the feeling of inadequacy and helplessness results into passiveness on the part of the student making the student refuse to participate in any class activities or engage in activities they know will make the teacher angry.

Hence, these rules serve as the distracters to such students by warning them in advance that they risk facing adverse consequences when they get involved in such activities (Tauber, 2007). Since children learn through observation the above code of conduct is based on observation of the children on how other students face strict discipline after breaking the class rules.


, pp. 1-82, A plum Book. The new approach to discipline: Logical consequencesDreikurs, R. and Grey, L (1968).

, New York: Sage Publishers. Overcoming challenges in classroom: Teachers guideRichard, M. (2005).

Vol. 34 Issue 2, p.15Journal of Individual PsychologyShulman, B. (2004.»The Contributions of Rudolf Dreikurs to the Theory and Practice of Individual Psychology.»

. Classroom management sound theory & effective practiceTauber, R. (2007).

Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers.

. New York: John Wiley and Sons. Solving Discipline and Classroom Management Problems: Methods and Models for Today’s TeachersWolfgang, C. (2001).

Solving discipline problems: Strategies for Wolfgang, C., & Glickman, C. (1986).

. Second Edition. Newton: Sales, Allyn and Bacon. classroom teachers